EvSex Presentation - John Logsdon

The Origin and Evolution of Meiosis: Old Roots and Exceptional Sex - John Logsdon

Department of Biology
The University of Iowa
The Origin & Evolution of Meiosis: Old Roots & Exceptional Sex


Meiosis is a highly conserved cellular process: indeed, homologs of many meiotic genes are shared across diverse eukaryotic genomes. In order to better understand the evolution and function of meiotic sex, we are investigating genomes from a wide swath of eukaryotic lineages, focusing on those that have biologically unusual sex lives. These include male achaismatic Drosophila as well as putatively asexual snails, fungi and rotifers. Results will be presented from our ongoing analyses of the presence, absence and rates of evolution of meiotic genes in the genomes of diverse organisms. These studies are revealing clues about the evolutionary history and mechanistic underpinnings of this key eukaryotic innovation.